US gasoline demand this summer is expected to be the lowest in 11 years, while the average summer fuel price is forecast to be at a record level, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). High prices at the pump—mostly a result of global crude oil prices—and the use of more efficient vehicles both encourage reduced gasoline consumption.
US gasoline consumption is forecast to average almost 8.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d) this summer driving season, which runs from April through September, the lowest since 2001 and about 6.4% less than 2007’s record summer gasoline demand of 9.4 million bbl/d, according to EIA’s 10 April 2012 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). Data and projections from STEO are subject to change with the next release of the STEO on 8 May 2012.
Also, higher vehicle fuel efficiency should contribute to lower gasoline demand this summer. Higher gasoline prices, which are expected to be up an average of 24 cents per gallon this summer compared to last year, according to the April 2012 STEO, are also expected to reduce some highway travel, which will reduce fuel use.